Polish newspaper offers anti-semitic tirade "proving" Poland never did anything anti-semitic

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/14/polish-newspaper-offers-anti-s.html





If I were to point to Polish criminals in Polish prisons, guilty of murder/theft/rape, would this be an “anti-Polish” statement?

People everywhere do bad stuff, if you don’t want your country to be tainted by that then denounce them before, during, and after the fact, but don’t pretend those crimes didn’t happen.

Poland isnt the only place this happened in WWII.


Roger That!


Yeah, Of course, not denial, just “it wasn’t us and we will imprison you if you prove it was.”


The concept of a nation or a group of people being both victims and perpetrators of great injustice is tricky, even when operating in good faith. You can make a very good case that no nation suffered as much as Poland as a result of WWII. The figures are pretty undeniable. And a lot of Polish people aided in the Holocaust, in varying degrees of willingness. Both of these are true, and neither lessens the importance of the other, but it’s really difficult to let both realities share space.

(and not for nothing, this kind thing is exactly why it is so shortsighted and dangerous to give the state the power to criminalize speech like this, in my opinion)


How long before FoxNews does the same?


Use of the phrase “Polish death camps” to refer to Nazi-run concentration camps like Auschwitz, for example, is now punishable by up to three years in prison.

[Talking to a mirror] Polish Death Camp, Polish Death Camp… Polish Death Camp! [/Talking to a mirror]


Nazi death camps located in Poland; sanctioned, enabled and facilitated by Poland.


Say that 3 times fast.

Also these nationalists can go piss off.


I can understand, in principle, why Polish people might resent the use of “Polish death camps” in preference to “Nazi death camps”. Regardless of anything else, it’s clearly provocative to equate “Poland” with “Nazi-occupied Poland” as if the latter were a consensual arrangement.

But to go directly from there to “Jews are conspiring against us” is… uh… quite a bad way to defend one’s anti-Nazi credentials.


I think this is a good reminder that the sonderweg view of German history (that Germany had a special path, and no one else would have committed the holocaust and that after the destruction of the nazis, Germans were not longer antisemites) is problematic, in that it lets other countries off the hook for the longer history of antisemitism that existed across the continent. Germany actually did a good bit to examine their past and incorporate what happened during world war 2 into their national curriculum, which the rest of Europe never had to do.


A thousand times this. Prior to the holocaust, antisemitism wasn’t even seen as a negative by much of Europe and the US, and antisemitism persisted (and persists) long after WWII ended. Pervasive antisemitism across Europe enabled the holocaust, and everywhere the Nazis went there were some fraction of the population that welcomed them with open arms, or who resented their occupation but had no problem with killing jews. Yet if you got to modern France or Netherlands, or Poland, you hear nothing but stories about how so-and-so’s grandparents were in the resistance and the handful of collaborators did so under duress or were not true Scotsmen. It’s worthy to celebrate those who resisted Nazi occupation and those who aided Jews and other victims of the Nazis, but pretending that they acted alone is wrong and harmful.


Endless pogroms in the East, the Dreyfuss affair in France, demands for Jews to conform (up to and including demands to convert), etc.

Among other things, including pogroms against Jews returning home after surviving the Holocaust, including in Poland…

Yep. Obviously, people defied the nazis, but there was a fair amount of collaboration with them right across Europe, including in the supposedly more enlightened Western Europe…

Right? There were structures in place to support and enable cooperation with the Nazis where ever they occupied… not everyone did, but enough did to illustrate the larger point of antisemitism not just being a “nazi” problem.


…and some other continents. Lots of people weren’t taught about things like homegrown Americans holding a Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden, for an instance among many.

People remember Volkswagen had something to do with Nazis, but they don’t always make the connection to Fords.


Granted, if Fox News starts denying the Holocaust then it will take away some of the sting when they keep saying liberals are Nazis.


Sure, America had (has) a huge antisemitism problem, no doubt. There’s the Leo Frank lynching, excluding Jews from various aspects of public life, direct attacks on Jews and Jewish communities (the bombing of a major synagogue in the 50s for their support of civil rights), events like the ship of the damned being turned away at American ports during the holocaust, fears of anarchism being turned into an excuse to try and keep Jewish immgrants out, etc, etc. A very long history of antisemitism there.

But of course, the topic here was Poland, and it’s clearly antisemitic law aimed at erasing history. I don’t think much of Europe outside of Germany has come to terms with how they contributed to the Holocaust directly via it’s long history of antisemitism prior (and even after) the Holocaust. It’s easier to just say, “oh, it was a german problem only” and move on rather than do a proper examination of the past and how a variety of factors in Europe contributed to the slaughter.


On tbe whole Poland has been viciously oppressive to Jews for the better part of 1000 yeara. Why would they change now?